It’s been about a month now since we came back from The Sierra in California and I’m finally getting around to writing my last entry on this trip. Maybe it’s a good thing to take time to digest what I saw and felt about being there.
We mainly stayed in Yosemite Valley and hiked the Valley Floor Trail. We also hiked up to Vernal Falls, Nevada Falls and came down the other side. The hike up to Vernal Falls was very crowded but it thinned out as we continued up to Nevada Falls. I did not want to hike back down from Vernal Falls because of the crowds and the steep, rocky trail so elected to continue up. Most of the other waterfalls in the valley were dry so we did not visit them.
I have some regrets about not hiking outside the valley as I understand the trails are less crowded (in places). That was not apparent on our drive as we headed out of the park towards Reno as all the trailheads we saw had full parking lots and cars parked on the side of the road. And this was not the busy season. If I had it to do over again, I personally would probably pick some trails off the beaten path and avoid the crowds. But when you are only in a place for a short time, you probably need to see the highlights first.
This begs the question “can some places be loved too much?” Just asking. I wonder how John Muir would view the changes here and how he would feel about the loss of solitude in the valley, at least in the summer months. We’ve saved it from the farmers and the developers, and the challenge is to continue to save it from ourselves.
Another question that comes to mind. Are we reducing the grandeur of nature to a selfie rather than savoring the moment we are in? Is our desire to share our experiences overshadowing the experience itself?